The Most In-Demand Skills in the Future of Work

Is there something you can do to remain competitive in the future of work? Today, guest writer Arthur Meyster dives into the most in-demand skills of the future workforce. 

The future of work can be frightening for those who believe they’re going to lose their jobs. This is a totally understandable reaction if we look at the statistics about automation. According to the Office for National Statistics in England, there are currently 1.5 million jobs at risk of automation. The numbers speak for themselves, but isn’t this something we’ve already seen before?

The fear of robots and the future of work come from more than 60 years ago when there was a technological rise and many jobs were no longer relevant. Let’s take 1958, for example, when 70,000 longshoremen were protesting against automation. What happened then was that people started migrating from certain jobs to other kinds of roles. There weren’t any robots that took everybody’s jobs—there was only a change in the job landscape.

But if we’ve already heard this before, what makes things different now? The exponential growth of automation is even higher these days so we’ll see a significant increase in tech jobs in the next couple of years. In fact, it is happening now. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tech jobs might increase by up to 12% between 2018 and 2028.

With this in mind, the best thing we can do to prepare ourselves for what’s to come is by acquiring skills that are deemed in-demand in today’s society. It is no secret that most of the valuable abilities are tech-related, considering that’s the direction that the world is moving toward. In this guide, we’ll highlight some of the more useful skills to up your game.

Skills That Will Be Redundant

The future of work is promising for many industries in the tech environment, but not for those who depend on repetitive labor. There are several job positions that would no longer be necessary for the future, simply because the tasks involved are repetitive and therefore, can be replaced with automation. They include proofreading, accounting, and manufacturing roles. If you’re currently working in any of these fields, it is highly recommended to start picking up a new tech skill or two to ensure job security in the future.

Skills That Will Help You Flourish in the Future of Work

Most people think that the only jobs in the future would be in the tech industry and this isn’t necessarily true. Automation is here with the sole purpose of making the workflow more effective, faster, and better—not to replace humans. With that said, companies will have more room for other analytical positions.

Other types of jobs that will still be valued in the future are those that require empathy like doctors or teachers. However, if you’re going to dive into the tech world, you may want to start learning these in-demand tech skills that can guarantee a brighter future ahead:

Software Development

Software development has gained a lot of popularity these days because many companies and organizations depend on software platforms to succeed. In terms of marketing and customer services, companies can benefit a lot from having a good software developer. Not only will software platforms help improve communication with customers, but they even refine the way companies handle products and services.

In the future of work, this skill will be totally necessary. Bill Gates once told CNBC, “Everyone can benefit from learning the basics of computer science. The questions it teaches you to ask—How do you accomplish a task? Can you find a pattern? What data do you need?—are useful no matter where you go in life”.

There are two paths toward becoming a software developer—you can either get a bachelor’s degree in computer science or go for an alternative education such as coding bootcamps. Some of the most outstanding schools that teach this skill are the Flatiron School and App Academy. Both schools offer flexible payment methods and in-depth education in everything related to development. In fact, they also offer a full stack development course for those that would like to master both the front and back end aspects of software development.

Data Science

Data science is the profession of the future. There’s a huge demand for data scientists these days because most companies can significantly benefit from them. In fact, it is safe to say that employing a team of data scientists can quadruple a company’s earnings. How? Just from having professionals analyze the data, identify the patterns, and produce insights that can lead to smarter business decisions.

Have you ever wondered why companies like Google and Facebook are so powerful? A chunk of their earnings comes from data-driven technology and they have a top-notch data science team.

Facebook knows everything we like—from our favorite pet, clothing preferences, and even food cravings—just from the data its users produce when browsing the app. This allows Facebook to showcase smart and targeted advertising, which is also why it is the number one platform for advertisement.

Data science doesn’t only benefit big corporations, smaller companies and businesses can take advantage of this too. In fact, it is becoming a crucial aspect of digital marketing and customer service. Companies that don’t apply data-driven strategies are at risk of being forced out of business, so they need to adapt to data-driven tools and decision-making.

However, the supply of data scientists is not enough to match the demands. This is why this skill is advantageous to learn as it can take you to a high-paying job. Data scientists can make up to $123,000 annually. The field is still not saturated because this is a relatively new career and traditional education is just starting to offer data science programs. A recent report from Kaggle revealed that most data scientists learned the necessary skills by themselves, through videos, or data science bootcamps.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning is the process of programming a machine so it can identify patterns without human intervention. It is more than just teaching a machine to learn something but also providing it analytical thinking skills based on existing data.

The job could be as simple as showing a machine how a cat looks like so it will be able to identify the common patterns in the future. However, the role involves more than that. Machine learning specialists or engineers have to ensure that a response is accurate all the time. Upon feeding the machine some data, it may still produce inaccurate results or identify wrongly so a machine learning specialist will have to fix such an issue with their expertise.

Now, why would this trend become one of the most in-demand tech skills in the future of work? The answer is simple—most automated devices use machine learning and artificial intelligence to work. There are several institutions that are teaching this skill and many other companies that are willing to hire machine learning engineering for their tech projects. So if you decide to go for this path, you can expect to bring home up to $140,000 annually. With machine learning, we have the same situation that we have with data science—the demand is high while the supply is very low.

Conclusion

The future of work will depend a lot on tech skills so even if you’re not into it right now, it could be very helpful for you to start learning a new skill in this industry. As Melinda Gates once said, “The more we encourage different kinds of people to get interested in technology the better that future will be”.

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